At the end of may I made a trip to Harley Street in London to see Dr Christopher to discuss bottom surgery. Was I nervous? A little. But I knew exactly what procedure I want, and I knew pretty much everything he was going to tell me, I just had a few questions myself.
Harley Street is unreal, in the sense that all the buildings are phenomenal, the cars parked outside them are even more phenomenal and I didn’t at all feel like I belonged there. The clinic itself was like something out of a film, ceilings so high you’d need ladders to change a light bulb in the chandeliers, black and white Victorian tiled floors, a huge reception are, framed paintings on the walls, everything glistened etc, you get the picture.
I had to sign a form to take up to Dr C, and waited in the waiting room that had proper sofas in until I was called. I went with my mum and Kerry, but my mum stayed in the waiting room as Kerry and I saw Dr C. My first impression of him? Well, deffo not what I was expecting a top rate surgeon to look like. He was extremely overweight, but seemed very friendly and was cracking lots of jokes, he instantly made me feel more relaxed.
He began by asking if I knew what surgery I wanted, to which I replied radial forearm phalloplasty. He asked to look at my non dominant arm (my left) to assess if I would be a good candidate for that technique, and told me I had the perfect arm, the right amount of fat, not too much nor too little, and my arm hair wouldn’t present a problem (If hair travels around to the inner side of the forearm it could present a problem as that part of the arm is what forms the urethra). This was the best news I could of hoped for.
He then went through how many stages there would be, exactly what happens in each stage, accompanied by images on a slide show from surgeries he’d performed. For me, there will be 3. Firstly; creation of the new phallus, urethral lengthening, and skin graft from the bottom of buttocks to cover arm. This is the longest most complex stage, surgery is 8-10 hours. Second stage; laparoscopic hysterectomy, oophorectomy and vaginectomy, along with burial of the clitoris, nerve hookup and glans sculpting, as well as one testicle implant. This is said to be the most painful stage due to the vaginectomy. Then the third and final stage is the insertion of the erectile implant, which makes up the second testicle as I opted for the cylinder pump implant. There will be around 3/4 months between each stage.
He also went through all the risks and possible complications, which I was pretty much already aware of. I can’t remember the exact percentages, but he said most people have sensation, both tactile and erotic. Total loss of all sensation wasn’t very common at all, and loss of the phallus was either 3 or 5% so I’m not too worried about that. I know that radial forearm with nerve hookup has the best statistics in terms of sensation recovery and also gain.
He also showed me results from over a year of healing and most of the arm scars looked fantastic, and I know my body is good at healing and scarring so I’m very optimistic about that aspect. If not, I’ve already got a tattoo idea planned to cover up. The general size of the completed phallus is 5/5.5 inches, which I’m more than happy with. The only worry is girth size being too big, but he said that wouldn’t be a problem to revise and the first few months would be swelling anyway.
My main query was delaying the surgery until Autumn 2015 due to university, I don’t want to disrupt my final year and jeopardise anything as I’m doing so well right now. Dr C said he didn’t see any real issues with that other than contacting CHX, as they prefer to do the surgery within a year of referral due to this and that, but if CHX were happy for that time then Dr C was fine with it as he said he was willing to do that date for me. And tbh, I know CHX won’t have any issues with that as when they dismissed me they said I was one of the easiest patients to refer etc and they were very confident of my treatment. So he’s pencilled me in for Sept/Oct 2015 and should be in contact again at some point next year. So I have a year to prepare, finish uni, graduate and make sure I’m in the best of health/ look after my body.
I also asked about hair removal, and we both agreed that waiting til after would be for the best as long as I wasn’t shy about whacking my wang out in a hair removal clinic! My main reasoning being my arm hair is mostly fine hair anyway, and I don’t want to remove my entire arms worth of hair as the graft area isn’t my entire arm. And I like the hair going from my wrist to my hand.
His final warning to me was to not break my arm. I’ve gone 21 years without breaking a bone, so now I’m super concious of making sure nothing happens to that arm haha!
Finally, he marked up on my arm the area that would be taken:
I’ve highlighted the area that would be taken in yellow to make it more clear, and below the orange details which area of the graft would be used for the urethra.
And finally, the strip down the centre is what will be left.
All in all the consult took about 15 minutes, and I left very happy. I’m not apprehensive about it, I know what’s to come and I know its going to be very hard, both mentally and physically, but to me it’s going to be worth it.
Here’s a patient guide to phalloplasty that outlines the different techniques, complications, and has photo’s that Dr C showed to me. It’s worth a read if you’re considering phalloplasty :)
And finally, my phalloplasty will be covered by the NHS, but if you’re considering going private, it will cost £50,000+.